The loud bird doesn’t (always) get the worm: Why computational salience also needs brightness and tempo
Bregman, Albert S.
Cooperstock, Jeremy R.
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Salience shapes the involuntary perception of a sound scene into foreground and background. A computational model of salience would provide a strong perceptual baseline for the sonification designer. However, there is a lack of ground truth to evaluate the proposed models and to measure their performance with respect to human perception. This paper describes three contributions. First, we introduce a behavioral definition of salience. We describe an experiment based on our definition that tests a corpus of natural communication sounds. Our results suggest that salience is well described by three perceptual dimensions: not only loudness, but also, tempo and brightness. Second, we extract the most significant acoustical features and analyze their relation with salience, as measured by our ground truth. The context effects emerging from our analysis confirm the difference between salience and novelty. Finally, we suggest some necessary characteristics of the computational salience model based on the analyzed features.